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Okay, but isn't it true that as adults, we have to work in order to achieve
material rewards? Any material reward is, after all, the fruit of
previously-done labor. You have to do the work (even if it's brain-work
rather than physical work, or the foregoing of consumption in the present
so you can apply capital to create more wealth in the future) before the
reward even exists -- or else you are enjoying the fruits of someone else's
labor (or sacrifice).
Otherwise it seems we are teaching that manna falls from heaven and the
world owes us a living.

Someone asked about how to make a chores chart on our local hs list
last week. It started a similar discussion to this one, complete with Alfie
Kohn, unschooling and unchores Here is part of how I answered a post like Scott's:

If the main need is for a clean house and/or parental survival,
that's one thing, and have at it with my blessing <g>. I am not the FlyLady
and far be it from me to give cleaning advice. Do what you need to do, and
maybe a chore list will help you keep the dirt and clutter at bay, keep the family
functioning. I expect they had many lists in the Cheaper By The Dozen
household (actually, in real-life, Frank Gilbreth was an efficiency expert forever
experimenting on his own children, testing theories of factory productivity. The
kids seem to have turned out okay, but he had an early heart attack and died,
leaving them fatherless. Not very efficient in the long run imo.)

Just don't say it's all for the child's benefit, so they will be
moral, hygenic and mannerly dirt-haters, or obedient and God-fearing, or whatever.
Those are very different goals that a chore list may not serve very well, imo.

All I mean is that I find parenting and learning are so often
counterintuitive. How did I help my children not fear the dark of their rooms at
night? By keeping it light and letting them feel safe rather than afraid, on their
timetable instead of mine. How did I equip them to trust others to hold them?
By holding them close as much as they wanted, staying with them and not
forcing them on strangers. How do you get a child to share? What worked for us was
making sure there was plenty of everything to go around so no one grew up
feeling deprived or defensive or under attack. We let them feel empowered and
secure, never asked or expected them to share, and they now are generous kids. By
only doing it when they wanted to, it felt good and they really learned to like
it. . .

. . .We don't have to emulate schoolish survival tools if our
children's learning is all we are worried about. Those silly lists of what children
must be made to do, to learn all the things they must be made to learn -- if it
worked it would be one thing, but I an dubious. I'd wager that about the same
percentage of children really "get" algebra today as ever did, or really love
to read, and no more. I hate worksheets and lists of things to learn or books
to read unless they are my own, for my own purposes. Then I love them and make
them endlessly. <g>

It would be very logical (but apparently not true) to reason that if
you eventually want a grown man to pick up his own socks and dishes, then you
should make a chore chart for him as a five-year-old boy and get him in the
habit early. But does it actually work? What might work as well or better?

Personally, I think the real value of organizing or scheduling as a
tool is in teaching children to make the process their own and use it for their
own benefit. (Same with the value of the actual chores - otherwise it is
easier to do it myself.) Like a hammer or screwdriver, any tool can be used or
misused, and people can benefit, get hurt, or decide never touch it or anything
associated with it ever again!

Polishing silver, changing sheets and pillowcases, et cetera can be
fun and also satisfying, when we let children discover it for themselves. I used
to love to iron my father's shirts, but I didn't have to. I only did it when
it felt good, and the more I did it, the better I got at it, the better it
felt, and the more I did it! My mom of course was smart enough to milk it for all
it was worth! :)

All wasted of course -- we live in a no-iron world now and I haven't
ironed for my own family, ever! But things run reasonably well around here,
except when I spend too much time on the computer (we don't have lists and limits
for that either <g>) -- JJ